At least 10 more utilities on Thursday added their multi-million dollar requests to a growing list of those seeking part of $3.4 billion in federal smart grid stimulus grants.
As of Thursday afternoon, the rough tally of publicly announced grant requests now stands at a total of about $2.85 billion – or nearly nine-tenths the amount available under the Department of Energy's Smart Grid Investment Grant Program.
That's up from an estimated $1.53 billion only one day earlier, which included requests from utilities including Oncor, CenterPoint, Pepco, Baltimore Gas & Electric, Consolidated Edison, Commonwealth Edison and others (see Smart Grid Stimulus Applications Accelerate as Deadline Approaches).
Thursday is the deadline for the first round of applications for the grants, which can cover up to half the cost of a commercial-scale smart grid deployment. And the day hasn't ended yet, so stay tuned – there are likely to be more.
Among the largest and broadest of Thursday's requests comes from Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke Energy, which wants $200 million for its big smart meter proposals.
Duke has installed about 60,000 smart meters in Cincinnati, but also wants to bring more than 700,000 smart electric meters and 450,000 smart natural gas meters to its Ohio service territory, as well as 800,000 smart meters in its Indiana service territory. The grants could speed up those projects by about two years, Duke said (see Duke Energy Enlists Cisco in Smart Grid Efforts).
Duke is also seeking $14 million for smart grid demonstration projects in North and South Carolina, which could include its "microgrid" project in Charlotte, aimed at connecting solar power, batteries and smart meter-enabled homes (see Integral Analytics: Orchestrating Duke's 'Virtual Power Plant').
Connecticut-based Northeast Utilities, which serves customers in that state, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, said it would ask for grants for about $126.5 million, or up to half the cost of its $253 million smart grant plan.
About 200,000 customers will get smart meters under the plan, which also includes distribution automation and solar power integration pieces. The utility also will try out electric vehicle charging stations at about 15 public parking garages.
The utility will also work with General Electric to install its "smart" appliances when they're available next year. The first test of those will come in a 336-unit apartment complex in Stamford, Conn., the utility reported (see GE's Smart Appliances: Smarter With GE Home Energy Manager).
The utility is already planning a 15,000-customer smart meter pilot project to include in-home smart thermostats and energy monitoring devices (see Massachusetts Mulls Smart Meter Pilots).
And Massachusetts utility Nstar Electric & Gas will seek up to $28 million for its planned smart grid programs, which include smart meters, distribution automation and connecting renewable energy sources into the grid.
A little further south, New Jersey's largest utility, Public Service Electric and Gas Co., announced it would seek up to $76 million for a project to automate about 40 substations and install 62 new "advanced loop schemes."
That's a term for dividing distribution circuits into sections with fewer customers, along with communications that sense outages and other problems, with the end goal of cutting the severity and length of outages.
Across the Delaware River, Philadelphia-based PECO is asking for $200 million in grants to boost the first stage of its $650 million plan to bring smart meters to 1.6 million customers over the next 10 years, as well as other smart grid efforts.
Then there's Dominion Virginia Power, the state's largest utility, which wants $200 million to speed up full deployment of 2.4 million smart meters by 2012, a year ahead of its current schedule.
Head a little bit west, and FirstEnergy Corp. wants $57 million to cover up to half the costs of its plans for customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, which include distribution automation, smart meters, and utility control of home thermostats and appliances.
Across the Mississippi River, St. Louis, Miss.-based Ameren Corp. is asking for $185 million for two of its subsidiary utilities in Missouri and Illinois, primarily for distribution improvements, MSN Money reported.
And farther upriver, Alliant Energy subsidiary Wisconsin Power and Light Co., is asking for grants to cover half the cost of a $20 million project involving smart meters.
News was sparser out West on Thursday, although in California, Burbank Water & Power said it is asking for up to $20 million in stimulus funds to help it roll out smart meters to water and electric customers (see Green Light post).
But the state's three largest investor-owned utilities – Pacific Gas & Electric Co., Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric – hadn't made public whether or not they would seek stimulus grants as of early Thursday afternoon.
All of them are engaged in multi-million smart meter deployments and other smart grid projects (see Utilities Brief California Energy Commission on Smart Grid Efforts).
The three utilities have briefed the California Public Utilities Commission on some of the types of projects they hoped to seek funding for, however (see Green Light post).